A RETAILER with stores across Huddersfield has won a national award for the fourth year running.
The Co-operative Group was crowned Responsible Retailer of the Year at the Oracle Retail Week Awards 2011, which recognise the very best businesses on the high street.
The Co-op has now won the award four years in a row – with judges saying that the customer-owned retailer was still “streets ahead” of the competition in responsible retailing.
The Co-op beat rivals Asda, B&Q, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco to take the coveted “green” award.
The award recognises the launch of the Co-op’s Ethical Plan earlier this year.
Having cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35% since 2006, it has pledged to go carbon neutral by 2012.
All of the Co-op’s own-brand fresh and frozen chicken and turkey is produced as a minimum to its higher-welfare Elmwood standards, and all its premium own-brand food is free-range accredited.
Sales of Fairtrade products, which guarantee a minimum price and a better deal for growers in developing countries, have almost tripled over the past three years.
Peter Marks, group chief executive, said: “The Retail Week Awards recognise the very best in the highly competitive UK retailing industry, not just the grocery sector, so to win this particular accolade four years in succession is an incredible achievement.”
The group’s businesses include food stores, pharmacies, travel shops, funeral parlours and the Co-op’s legal services as well as the Co-operative Bank and Co-operative Insurance.